Security officials in Anbar province accused al-Qaeda of carrying out an attack on Monday (October 3rd) that targeted the police center in the town of Baghdadi, claiming the lives of 11 Iraqis and wounding 18 others.
A number of gunmen, including two suicide bombers wearing explosives belts, attacked the police building on Monday morning. The two suicide bombers detonated themselves at the building gate, opening the way for the other gunmen to storm the center.
"Five security personnel were killed in the explosions, and 18 others were wounded. Then, six terrorists stormed the building and were able to control it. They took all those who were in the center as hostages," said Maj. Gen. Hadi Kassar Erzaij, commander of Anbar police.
Among the hostages were the commander of Baghdadi district police, his deputy, the mayor and a number of policemen.
Erzaij told Mawtani that the gunmen controlled the center for three hours until special forces from the Iraqi army arrived with a force of local police.
"Fierce clashes raged for about 40 minutes, which ended with the liberation of the hostages, including the mayor, security officers and members of the police."
Erzaij said the gunmen executed the commander of the local police, his deputy, three policemen, and one civilian before the security forces stormed the building and killed all six assailants.
The police commander accused al-Qaeda of the attack, saying, "This was an obvious operation. But the terrorists should know that we will not negotiate with them or with any other terrorist. There is no way to deal with them except by killing them and getting rid of them."
Brig. Gen. Emad Ali, who led the operation that stormed the building, told Mawtani that the situation was under control.
"Al-Qaeda will be dealt a harsh lesson for this failed attempt."
He said the killing of the police chief and his deputy "was a loss for the Iraqi forces because they were competent men who loved their country".
Mohammad Fathi Hantoush, spokesperson for Anbar province, said the gunmen stormed the Baghdadi police center with the aim of liberating a number of suspected al-Qaeda members who had been detained by Iraqi forces.
"The terrorists failed to liberate the prisoners because they were surprised by the Iraqi forces surrounding the building within a few minutes after they entered it," he told Mawtani.
"The Iraqi forces will keep fighting until the last minute and will not allow the terrorists to control Iraq."
Chairman of the defense and security committee in the Anbar Provincial Council Saad Mansi said, "The terrorists thought the Iraqi forces would resort to negotiations with them, which made them seize the hostages, but our forces quickly stormed the place, liberated the hostages and killed the attackers."
"The courage of the Iraqi army and police blocked the release of the terrorists who pose a grave threat to Iraq and the Iraqi people."
A large number of residents of Baghdadi condemned the terrorist attack on the police center.
"These terrorist ways no longer pay off because our heroic forces are always ready for them," said Bilal Hardan, 41, a farmer in Baghdadi.
"The terrorists should realize that Iraq will not submit to their terror, and Iraqi citizens are determined to be victorious and we shall triumph."
Tariq Ismael, 37, a government employee, said, "We lost heroic people in the attack but thanks to God, we did not lose our strength or our morale in fighting the terrorists. They have failed to realize their sinister objectives."